Black Land Loss
There can be no food sovereignty without land sovereignty. For the past decade, Corbin HIll has worked to realize this vision, achieving sovereignty, working tirelessly to address food justice on a local and regional scale. Corbin Hill, trailblazing in its work, upholds the historical legacies left behind by countless food and land justice activists - individuals and groups who recognized that land ownership is foundational to agency over one’s food system and ultimately, community health.
Land sovereignty has to do with ownership of a people’s land, enforcing and emphasizing the rights of those who utilize and have historical ties to the land. Land sovereignty in the U.S. is highly relevant, as there are strong connections to land ownership and wealth. Black and Brown people have seen their ownership of land reduced from 10 million acres in the 1910’s to presently less than one million. We must acknowledge how Black and brown communities’ abilities to own land - and thus, accumulate wealth - have been intentionally hindered in order to strategically support marginalized groups in building capital, particularly in ways that positively influence their food system. Systemic discrimination in government and private lending, along with exclusion from crop subsidy and conservation programs, especially in New Deal policies, have played a major role in Black disadvantage. Governmental entities like the USDA have carried out loan discrimination, have failed to adequately compensate Black farmers, and have foreclosed on Black farmers with outstanding discrimination complaints - complaints made against the USDA.
Black-owned land has incredible value. We’ve seen historically that Black families who owned land helped stabilize their areas, and contributed to the development of local community works like outdoor public spaces and schools. Healthy, locally-produced food provides enormous benefits to the community, and local food entrepreneurs have the capacity to stimulate large-scale economic growth. A renewable energy economy, a synthesis of the amazing potential of land and food sovereignty, could be on the horizon for many more communities across the nation.
Change can begin today, and Corbin Hill is paving the way toward ownership and wealth creation through a community-based food system. Our work goes beyond food and we identify that a critical first step towards ownership the transferal of 95 acres to the communities it has been serving. We are relying on your donation to support this and all of our efforts at reframing the conversation around food access and community wealth building among our Shareholders.